2022 Volvo XC90 Electric variant getting a skateboard platform [Update]

The next-gen Volvo XC90 Recharge (Electric) will ride on a skateboard platform. Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer, Volvo Cars, revealed the new development to Green Car Reports in March.

2022 Volvo XC90 dual platform strategy

The Volvo XC40 Recharge and Volvo C40 Recharge have a T-shaped battery pack that has an impact on the cabin space. However, that won’t be the case with the Volvo XC90 Recharge, Green suggested. Volvo is developing the SPA2 platform for the next-gen XC90 (codename: Volvo V536) with a new type of solution.

Volvo is building the SPA2 platform with two unique floor assemblies, one for the hybrid variant partially running on fossil fuel and one for the fully electric variant. Green said that Volvo plans to manufacture the floors in parallel on separate lines.

One floor is built around the flat battery with an e-machine in front and rear, very much the skateboard approach that you see pure electric vehicles are built on today. And there is another floor which is completely different, built with a combustion engine in the front, the prop shaft, an exhaust system, a fuel tank in the rear.

Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer, Volvo Cars
upcoming Volvo electric cars teaser - includes the 2022 Volvo XC90 Recharge
The 2022 Volvo XC90 (and the first-ever pure electric Volvo XC90 Recharge in 2023) could be the safest SUV in the world. Image: Volvo Cars

The launch of the third-gen Volvo XC90 (codename: Volvo V536) next year will mark the beginning of the Volvo 90 Series’ full electrification. The SPA platform that debuted in the second-gen Volvo XC90 back in 2014 is there to stay, although it will be thoroughly upgraded for the next-gen models. Called SPA2, the upgraded SPA platform will be ready for complete electrification. According to a report from teknikensvarld.se, we presume that Volvo will offer the next-gen XC90 in “B” mild-hybrid, “T” plug-in hybrid, and “P” pure electric variants.

Dimensions & Seating

The next-gen Volvo XC90 will be longer than 5 meters (196.9 inches), as per the report. For reference, the current model measures 195 inches in length. The usage of lightweight materials like aluminum and carbon-fiber will keep the weight of the next-gen model’s body in check. Customers will have a wide range of seating configuration choices: 1+2, 2+2, 2+3, 2+2+2, and 2+3+2.

Volvo XC90 Recharge

The all-electric Volvo XC90 Recharge should have a battery pack with an energy storage capacity of over 100 kWh, built of 30+ cell modules. With two motors, each generating over 200 PS (197 hp) and 800-900 Nm (590-664 Lb.-Ft.), the first-ever Volvo XC90 electric SUV will be able to provide a “sports car acceleration.” The top speed will be limited to 180 km/h (112 mph) in line with Volvo’s standard safety measures.

2022 Volvo XC90 Production & Release Date

Unlike the current XC90 that is manufactured in Europe, the next-gen 2022 Volvo XC90 will roll out of the company’s American plant located near Charleston, South Carolina, as per a report from autonews.com. Production and U.S. launch of the hybrid variants may begin in late 2022, and the all-electric Volvo XC90 Recharge would follow in the first half of 2023.

Volvo Cars announced last month that it plans to become a fully electric car brand by 2030 and launch five electric models in the coming years, including the next-gen Volvo XC90 Recharge, all available exclusively online.

Level 4 Autonomous driving with ‘Sentinel’

In addition to three-row seating and a host of new safety systems that make it a practical family SUV, the 2022 Volvo XC90 (and its pure electric variant) will boast highly autonomous driving assistance systems. Reports suggest that it will approach Level 4 autonomous driving, which is the first level of fully automated driving. In SAE Level 4, the vehicle can handle itself in most driving situations without input from the driver. The driver can take rest or read a book, as he wouldn’t have to hold the steering.

Luminar LIDAR Volvo SPA2
The 2022 Volvo XC90 will debut the next generation of the brand’s autonomous driving systems. 5G and LiDAR technologies would be used for the advanced driver assistance systems. Image: Volvo Cars

Luminar and Zenseact have partnered to produce a new autonomous driving system called Sentinel, and according to a Forbes report, Sentinel will debut in the 2022 Volvo XC90 before spreading to other Volvo cars.

Forbes reports that at the launch, Volvo, Luminar and Zenseact are activating highway driving capability where the 2022 Volvo XC90 can drive autonomously at highway speeds (at 60-70 mph) putting it far ahead of L3 systems of other car companies which are capped at 30-37 mph.

Luminar is a tech firm well-known for its LiDAR technology, partnering with Volvo Cars for the self-driving technology of its next-gen models since May 2020. Zenseact is an entity of Volvo Cars that focuses on autonomous driving systems and active safety software. Sentinel is expected to make vehicles equipped with it capable of Level 4 autonomous driving. At launch, the area operation could be limited to highways, though.

Featured Image Source: Volvo